October 19, 2007
It is with great pleasure that I am announcing the birth of a new publication of interest to Haitian art collectors, museum curators and scholars: a quarterly newsletter titled “Haitian Art Views.” The publishers are Reynolds Rolles, a veteran collector, photographer, and graphic designer, and Emile Viard, an author and Haitian art dealer — both hail from Haiti. I am the editor.
Printed on heavy stock paper in full color for the photos, the first issue includes a “Tribute to Tiga” (1935 – 2006), the innovative artist and teacher who spearheaded the start of the Saint Soleil movement of Haitian avant-garde art. It was his careful tutelage that led Prospere Pierre Louis, Levoy Exil, Denis Smith, Dieuseul Paul and Louisiane Saint Fleurant to work in the same meticulous style of small dabs or dots of paint and philosophical reverence for the cosmos, women, and peace. Each artist developed his or her own particular way of painting and typical symbolism. Tiga’s own technique of working called “soleil brulee” or “burnt sun” involved a mixture of inks, acrylic and acids lending his canvases a raw, primal feeling.
An interview with Carole Cleaver, the widow of author Selden Rodman, is also found in the “Collector’s Corner” of “Haitian Art Views.” She talks about the first piece of Haitian art she bought, when and why she began collecting, and her adventures along the way. She is the co-author with her late husband of the book “Spirits of the Night: The Vaudun Gods of Haiti” in addition to numerous newspaper and magazine articles about Haiti. A key portion of the interview is devoted to what she plans to do with her massive collection. Others can take their cues from her experience.
This season’s “Artist Interview” is with Arijac, a contemporary painter known for his portraits and landscapes. Now a resident of North Miami, Florida, the artist reflects on his output, sources of inspiration, method of working, and hoped-for legacy.
A section for classified ads will allow collectors and others to communicate their wish to buy, sell or trade Haitian art and related items. Rolles, Viard and myself are hopeful that “Haitian Art Views” will prompt letter-writing on the part of readers who agree with or object to the opinions stated in the pages of our newsletter. We hope it will serve as a place for intelligent dialogue and debate among well-informed people. We are also open to suggestion in terms of what our readers want to see in future issues. It’s an exciting time for us and we hope other people agree, so please pass on the information about “Haitian Art Views” to interested parties.
The first issue is out and available for free to anyone who asks, so please email me at both LuLuchat@aol.com and copy the email to LuLugatos@gmail.com. Yearly subscriptions, beginning with the January, 2008 issue, are $20.
Our first-ever full-color wall calendar is soon coming off the presses. It features people and places in Haiti from a variety of photographers including Rolles and myself. The price is $20. Please email me for more information.